Chimes and drums allow youngsters to practice percussion at the edge of the memorial.

Chimes and drums allow youngsters to practice percussion at the edge of the memorial.

Credit: Courtesy Deane Madsen


A new memorial to Chuck Brown, legendary musician and “Godfather of Go-Go” opens today in Washington, D.C. The memorial, designed by local firm Marshall Moya Design, honors Brown’s legacy of Go-Go music—a blend of blues with early hip-hop and percussion—which originated in Washington in the mid-1960s. Brown passed away in 2012, but today would have been his 78th birthday.

Chuck Brown's memorial features painted mosaic tiles that illustrate his life and career.

Chuck Brown's memorial features painted mosaic tiles that illustrate his life and career.

Credit: Courtesy Deane Madsen


The memorial, set within Langdon Park, where architect Michael Marshall, AIA, spent time as a child, features a recreational plaza encircled by aluminum panels engraved with images of Brown’s discography. A mosaic photo wall illustrates Brown’s career along with a timeline of his life. Within the park, integrated lawn and bench seating allows for small outdoor performances, and installed chimes and toy drums present opportunities for children to experiment with percussion.

Marshall Moya Design also completed the redevelopment of the Howard Theater, a performance venue where Chuck Brown used to perform, which will host a concert commemorating Brown to be held this evening, following the memorial opening.

A tall sculpture greets visitors to the Chuck Brown Memorial Park in Washington, D.C.

A tall sculpture greets visitors to the Chuck Brown Memorial Park in Washington, D.C.

Credit: Courtesy Deane Madsen